February 10, 2017 / 4:48 PM / 8 months ago

GLOBAL-MARKETS-Trump tax cut talk, Chinese data spur risk rally

(Adds Wall Street open; updates dateline, byline; updates throughout)

* Wall St hits new highs

* Trump promises “phenomenal” tax reform, no details

* Strong Chinese trade data lifts Europe, Asia

* Eyes on Trump-Abe meeting in Washington

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Wall Street hit records highs for a second day and the dollar rose on hopes of business-friendly tax cuts, as upbeat Chinese trade data buoyed commodity-related shares in Asia and Europe.

The equities boost continued a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said that in coming weeks he would announce something “phenomenal” in terms of tax, although he offered no further details.

Renewed speculation that Trump’s policies will help boost economic growth and inflation pushed U.S. Treasury yields higher and lifted the dollar, which hit an 11-day high against a basket of six major currencies.

The greenback also rose on expectations of a constructive meeting later on Friday between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Strong Chinese trade numbers on Friday added to a sense that inflationary pressures could be stirring.

China stocks posted their biggest weekly gains in more than two months, led by infrastructure and material shares on new pledges for transport and infrastructure building.

China’s President Xi Jinping also had a cordial telephone conversation with Trump, in which Trump affirmed the one-China policy on Taiwan.

Both the blue-chip CSI300 index and the Shanghai Composite Index were about 0.5 percent higher.

“We’ve had Trump’s comments on tax reform, the phone call with China and quite decent China trade data, so there is a risk-on mood again in markets,” DZ Bank rates strategist Rene Albrecht said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.34 points, or 0.32 percent, to 20,237.74, the S&P 500 gained 5.23 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,313.1 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12.84 points, or 0.22 percent, to 5,728.02.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note yields rose to a session high of 2.43 percent after the release of the imports data, which showed prices increased 0.4 percent in January.

European shares were off the day’s peaks, weighed down by banking shares. They are still poised to close the week about 1 percent higher.

Healthy corporate results and the continued uptick in European dealmaking, which is seeing its strongest start to the year in more than a decade, helped underpin valuations.

Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to buy U.S. baby formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition for $16.6 billion, giving the British consumer goods company a new product line and expanding its presence in developing markets.

Meanwhile, analyst sentiment on European earnings is the brightest it has been in six years, while U.S. fourth-quarter earnings are forecast to grow 8.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

However, lingering concerns over political risks kept gains in check.

The week has seen heightened fears about euro zone political risks with French bond yields climbing to a 17-year high as fears about a strong showing for far-right leader Marine Le Pen ahead of a presidential election rattled markets.

Societe Generale, however, said the “Armageddon risk” ahead of the French elections is overdone.

In commodities, oil prices extended gains supported by strong Chinese crude imports, as well as reports that OPEC members delivered more than 90 percent of the output cuts they pledged.

Benchmark Brent crude was 2.00 percent, or $1.11, higher at $56.74 per barrel at 1625 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was trading 1.85 percent, or 98 cents, higher at $53.98. (Additional reporting by Vikram Subhedar in London; Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra and Nick Zieminski)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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